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???SE Asia or other?? for 4-6 weeks in Jan. Feb

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I'm just starting to explore options and ideas for Jan. Feb. travel (yes for two months from now) since we never plan particularly far out. And, we do not want to go a place where this is the hottest season of the year and where we will absolutely die of the heat. We did that last year in southern India, planning our trip a bit too late in the winter season and saying never again to a vacation where we sweat to death.

My husband and I want to escape the horrible winters where we live and are open to ideas so I can start investigating. In addition to the usual places, we would be open to places that are not the same old, same old where everyone goes. Now that we are retired and have lots of free time, the past couple winters we've done India-intensive and also Nepal. So, we've now spent a total of 4 months in India and 3 weeks in Nepal.

As far as SE Asia the only place we have been is Vietnam. We were there for two weeks at New Year's about 8 to 10 years ago and did a different trip than the norm. We had a couple days on our own in Saigon and in Hanoi, we did a custom five day bicycle trip in the far reaches of the Mekong Delta, and we spent about 5 days on a custom tour around Hanoi (including Bai Tu Long Bay and Bac Ha areas) with an agency that specialized in introducing tourists to the "real" Vietnam in small villages. And, they lived up to their promise. We would not be averse to visiting Vietnam again to see some places we were unable to see last time.

We are in our 60s and have moved into more of the slow travel mode, preferring not to be constantly on the go to try to fit in each and every top ten tourist site. However, if to get the most out of a destination it means moving around more we are willing to do that, just not every night or two. I'd classify us as moderate budget travelers, and so that also comes in to play in deciding where to go. Our typical preference is for the smaller, family-run and unique lodging rather than more sterile chain hotels. While we typically make all of our own arrangements, in past visits to some of the more developing countries we've visited, we've used agencies to arrange things like cars and drivers and to arrange visits to places we can't access on our own.

We've done a lot of traveling and are pretty adventuresome, but I think our days of wanting to sleep in a local villager's straw-filled bed (as we did on our 5 days around Hanoi) are over. We like nature, outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking and biking and boating (and my husband is a fly-fisherman), cultural interactions, interesting architecture, history, learning about different cultures, historic sites etc. We are not shoppers or partiers, and we don't want to go to the beach to just veg out. Excessively touristy is not for us, but we do want some tourist infrastructure.

I'd appreciate any ideas for us. I'm also interested in other countries than those I tagged; the website only allows tagging of five countries at once. Thanks much!

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